Brevard Public Schools seeks input on possible budget cuts

3 community meetings scheduled to gather input

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard Public Schools leaders are seeking comment on a preliminary list of budget cuts for the 2014-15 school year, and an additional list of cuts for 2015-16 if the half-cent sales tax fails at the ballot in November.

According to Local 6 News Partners Florida Today, three meetings will be held this month to gather public input on the lists:

  • North area: Astronaut High auditorium, Feb. 27, from 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Central area: Viera High auditorium, Feb. 17, from 6:30-8 pm
  • South area: Bayside High auditorium, Feb. 13 from 6:30-8 pm

In January, Brevard School Board members were presented with a preliminary list of budget cuts for the 2014-15 school year, as well as a list of budget recovery items, depending on state funding.

It remains unclear Brevard will receive more or less funding that this school year.
"To effectively address some of our financial challenges, it was imperative that we develop a comprehensive plan," Superintendent Brian Binggeli said in a news release.

"If funding should increase, we can begin recovering items lost in years past. If funding levels decrease, having a cut list already approved will assist us in making tough decisions."

Preliminary cuts includes eliminating 10 contract teachers, cutting 70 media assistant positions, and slashing support for LEGO League and Robotics budgets.

Binggeli is also suggesting families who use the child-care program to pay the full week, even if students miss days that week.

In addition, school district officials are developing a preliminary list of $6 million worth of budget cuts that could take place in 2015-16 if a proposed half-cent sales tax fails at the November election.

That includes closing up to four schools, and in some cases adding portable classrooms and nearby schools to accommodate the increased enrollment.

Other items on the list include outsourcing custodial services, furloughing all school district employees, and charging athletes to play sports.

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